October 2012

Regulatory Issues

There have been further attacks on the low vapor pressure (LVP) definition. Readers may recall that in May, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) discussed the LVP definition, but put off further discussions until Fall 2012. However, in June 2012, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) released their draft Air Quality  Management Plan (AQMP). The AQMP draft has proposed several concepts for regulatory VOC emissions. The concepts are listed below:

• CTS-01: Further Reductions from Architectural Coatings (R1113)
• CTS-02: Further Emissions Reductions from Miscellaneous Coatings, Adhesives, Solvents and Lubricants
• CTS-03: Emission Reductions from Mold Release Products
• CTS-04: Emission Reductions from Removal of Consumer Product Lower Vapor Pressure Exemption

The fourth concept refers to removing LVPs from Consumer Products in SCAQMD. Remember, only CARB has authority over Consumer Products in California. This means SCAQMD has to get CARB staff to change the definition of LVP or somehow to limit LVP use in the SCAQMD.

This is a significant issue for the industry. The LVP exemption has been incorporated into the Consumer Products regulation since the regulations inception. Most, if not all, the VOC limits are based on some portion of the product formulation using a LVP. To change the definition of LVP could have dramatic effects on your products.

The SCAQMD will have several public meetings on their AQMP this summer. We, as an industry, need to attempt to get the LVP modification removed from the AQMP. SCAQMD will adopt the AQMP in Oct. 2012. Once adopted, this concept could become part of the SIP. Once part of the SIP, it becomes much more difficult to remove. The entire AQMP draft concepts can be found at http://www.aqmd.gov/gb_comit/aqmpadvgrp/2012QMP/meetings/2012/jun14/SS-CM-draft.pdf.

In addition to working with SCAQMD, we need to convey to the CARB staff the importance of LVPs to keep our products effective.

Reporting for CARB
Earlier in June, CARB required makers of Multi-purpose Lubricant and Penetrants to complete a technology review on their products to determine compliance with the Dec. 31, 2013 future effective VOC limits.

In September, CARB is requiring that Responsible Parties for Multi-purpose Solvent and Paint Thinners complete a technology review on their products to again determine compliance with the Dec. 31, 2013 future effective VOC limits. The CARB staff has forms for this reporting activity.

On July 1, new VOC limits for 11 product categories became effective in Illinois. These new limits are consistent with the 2009 Model Rule from the Ozone Transport Commission (OTC), which is modeled on the CARB regulation. Along with the new VOC limits are prohibitions on chlorinated
compounds as well. Please review the entire regulation at http://www.ipcb.state.il.us/documents/dsweb/Get/Document-76049.

Canada will finally begin to complete their regulation. The Canadian VOC regulation was proposed in 2008 with little to no movement until now. No schedule has been announced. Environment Canada will have probably one to two meetings with Stakeholders before the final regulation is posted. Expect meetings in the fall.